A week before the library referendum vote, I decided to take a trip down to the Provincial Building to see for myself what the facilities might be like for the new town office, should it be given the green light to move.
Here is what I found:
spacious parking lot,
lovely foyer with cathedral ceiling fully finished and tastefully decorated,
wheel chair ramps and an elevator for complete building access,
large three-stall ladies’ washroom, identical to any you would find in a busy office building in Red Deer,
for the proposed office space, large pleasant banks of windows on the East and West sides allowing natural sunlight to light up the space,
plenty of room that, to the inexperienced eye anyway, looked to be twice the space of the present town office
And, according to the caretaker who gave me the tour, this area of the Provincial building has been empty for years.
As a 35-year resident of Rimbey who moved here just as the Provincial Building was being constructed, I came away with an overwhelming impression that it was suitable to recycle as a town office, and that we should have moved there years ago when the provincial government downsized services in Rimbey and left under-used office space behind.
I believe all these public buildings belong to the people of Rimbey, whether they were built by the province or by the municipality. It would have been sensible to make use of what we collectively own.
Furthermore, if the library moves out of its dysfunctionally small space, it will leave another empty hole that we still have to support on our tax dollar.
So what is there to be pleased about? Personally, I feel it is hard to find anything to celebrate with what has happened here.